New ‘rapid response’ falls service launched in B&NES

Health and care services in B&NES have come together to pilot a new community-based rapid-response service for people over the age of 65 years who fall over at home.

The Falls Rapid Response Team, which includes a specialist paramedic and an occupational therapist, will respond to up to four B&NES patients per day if they have contacted the emergency services for assistance after a fall. The team will help the person get comfortable, carry out a home-based falls risk assessment and recommend any necessary interventions that could help prevent future falls.

“This new service aims to support people’s independence and reduce the risk of them falling over again at home,” said Dr Ian Orpen, a Bath GP and the Clinical Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG).

The pilot is the result of collaboration between BaNES CCG, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), Virgin Care – who deliver health and care services in B&NES – and Bath’s Royal United Hospital. It operates between 8am and 6pm, seven days per week.

“Any immediate concerns that we have when we attend the patient will be addressed there and then, in their home. We will assess their mental health as well as their physical environment and make recommendations about how they can help themselves not to fall again in the future,” said Nick Wilson, SWASFT’s Operations Manager for Bath and South Wiltshire.

“We are truly breaking the mould in B&NES by working collaboratively to deliver great benefit to patients and the wider health care system, he added.”

The falls team have a variety of community-based and hospital services they can refer patients on to, depending on what the patient needs.

“We are excited to be part of this pilot. It perfectly complements our commitment to providing the residents of B&NES with the right care at the right time, so they feel empowered to take control of managing their own health,” said Mandy Miles, the Head of Ambulatory Care at Virgin Care.

If you have any questions or feedback about the new service the CCG’s Project Lead, Kate Parkins, would like to hear from you on 01225 831696 or at kate.parkins1@nhs.net.